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The Book of Boba Fett

The Streets of Mos Espa (The Book of Boba Fett - S01E03) - Live Action Series

Series: The Book of Boba Fett

Title: The Streets of Mos Espa

Season: One

Episode: 3

Original Air Date: January 12th, 2022

Runtime: 37 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"No hard feelings! It's just business!" SPOILERS.

All Boba wants is a family

Chapter 3 of The Book of Boba Fett was an improvement for me, largely owed to the fact that the flashbacks were kept at a bare minimum and the actual story slowly emerges in the present day timeline.

When bronze age people annoy a technologically advanced culture

Actually, the usual flashback was just a few minutes long this time. Boba rides on a Bantha to Mos Eisley (including a short cameo by Peli Motto and her three pit droids) to negotiate with the Pykes. They inform Boba that they already pay tribute to the local biker gang, but Boba promises to take care of them, so the Pykes will pay tribute to the Tusken instead. But when Boba returns to the Tusken camp he finds it all burned down, and all Tusken dead. Allegedly killed by the biker gang who left their graffiti behind. I talked about it last time, no technologically more advanced people would pay tribute to what they must consider savages. So of course the Tusken were all murdered. I always guessed the Tusken would eventually all be killed, providing motivation for Boba to plan his revenge, since his scheme to become crime lord is certainly not just about becoming rich and living a good life.

Imagine The Who's "Quadrophenia" playing in the background

In the present day timeline a few more things happen for a change, since most of the runtime is dedicated to it. Boba solves the dispute of a water trader who complains about a gang of streetkids stealing water from him. But when you think the outcome is obvious, the show once more goes out of its way to portray Boba not only as someone who is kind to animals, but extraordinarily reasonable and outright just. Boba finds the streetkids and they turn out to be the Star Wars version of mods, including scooters. None of them can find a job and it turns out the water trader demands extortionate prices. Thus Boba does what any good and sensible person would do, he hires the kids to work for him and tells the water trader to reduce his prices considerably, and then pays him just a fraction of the sum he demanded.

How cool would it be to have a Rancor Black Series figure... oh... wait....

Later Boba's palace security turns out to be a complete joke, even though he employs not just two Gamorrean guards, but now also a bunch of Mos Espa mods, not forgetting Fennec Shand of course. Despite all that Black Krrsantan manages to attack Boba Fett in his Bacta tank. What follows is a vicious fight scene with Krrsantan beating the living daylights out of Boba and everyone else. I would say we haver never seen before what ferocious fighting machines Wookiees can be. But eventually Krrsantan is trapped in the (empty) Rancor pit. The next day the Hutts arrive. And what do you think they do? They turn out to be reasonable as well! They not only apologize to Boba for sending Krrsantan, they also give him a gift: a Rancor. I couldn't stop laughing for five minutes straight, but we'll talk about that soon. Then the Hutts tell Boba that both parties were lied to by the mayor and that they will withdraw from Tatooine which is not worth the bother. When Boba offers them Krrsantan back they refuse and leave him in Boba's loving and tender care.

"You're serious, dude?" - the best Wookie acting ever, maybe

But peave loving, animal friendly, reasonable, honorable and very sensible Boba Fett immediately sets Black Krrsantan free, telling him there are no hard feelings and it was all just business. Krrsantan gives him a very incredulous look, and then makes his swift exit.

Rancors love a good scratch behind their ears and are seriously misunderstood creatures. Also, hello, Hasbro? Why is your face all red and why are the veins in your forehead throbbing? Is something wrong with you, Hasbro?

Boba then goes and examines his new pet. We are then treated to some Rancor lore. It turns out they can be very loving creatures, imprint on humans like a duckling, the first human they see is the one they bond with, so of course Boba bonds with the Rancor. Rancors enjoy a good scratch like any pet really and the new Rancor Keeper (not available as an action figure, ever...) in the shape of guest star Danny Trejo then informs Boba that the nightsisters used to ride them even, to which Boba replies, that he will want to ride the Rancor as well. That sounds like a great idea for a toy... Rancor with saddle and Boba Fett and Danny Trejo Rancor keeper... Hasbro... hello? Yes? What? Why are you foaming at the mouth? Is something wrong with you? But I digress...

Boba then goes to visit the mayor to have a serious chat with him, but the mayor is gone. The majordomo tries to make his escape and what follows is a lengthy speeder chase through the streets of Mos Espa. Injected is some humour here and there and the usual tropes of fruit carts, a painting (not quite the usual window pane) getting smashed, the only trope missing was the person on a ladder. The mod gang on their scooters eventually manage to catch the majordomo and we learn the mayor is with the Pykes now. And the episode ends with about a dozen more Pykes arriving on Tatooine.

All in all I felt that episode 3 is the best so far, I am no fan of the interminably long flashbacks in episodes 1 and 2, especially since the outcome is so predictable. Boba's all new surrogate family gets brutally slaughtered. Here I have to question Boba's intelligence... did he really believe a biker gang with speeder bikes and blasters and all kinds of tech would accept it if a bunch of savages ruin their business and attack them? And did Boba really think the Pykes would be as honorable as he is and not maybe tell the bikers to slaughter the Tusken? Any sensible person would probably not assume any of these things.

The fight sequence with Black Krrsantan was fun and well staged, much better than the fight in episode 1, both episodes are directed by Rodriguez. However, the chase scene in Mos Espa lacked any dynamic, actually, it felt as if all the speeders were moving in slowmo, there was no sense of speed at all and it felt a bit lackluster, and by that I mean the way it was shot and how badly Rodriguez conveys speed in this chase sequence. It almost felt like a mediocre stunt show in a theme park where everything just feels less intense than in a movie. I simply cannot understand why Rodriguez stages action like that. At least the fight with the Wookie was better.

So what can we take away from the episode? It's more than apparent, Fennec Shand even spells it out for the last member of the audience, that a central theme of the series is family. Boba wanted a family as a kid, but his father was away on business all the time, and then he was killed, leaving Boba alone in the world. Then he found a toxic family with Jabba and his scum, only to find a weird and strange but ultimately much more wholesome family with the Tusken... only they were all killed as well. And in the present day Boba is building his own family, he has Fennec, he also has some streetkids now and even his own pet.

I still feel the show does not properly tell us why the guy who loved disintegrating his bounty targets is this uber reasonable, animal loving, sensible person with a strong sense for justice. It's not that I don't like this particular version of Boba Fett, it's far more three dimensional, but I feel a deep disconnect between the image that most people of Boba had, based on the movies, and what Boba really turns out to be. You may argue that Boba had little screentime and few lines of dialogue. But there are 40+ years of head canon to contend with and I feel Favreau should have tried to explain better why Boba is so extremely reasonable and honorable. Maybe the time with the Tusken should have spent less time on gaffi sticks and more time on showing us how the Tusken changed Boba's mindset about how things should be done in life.

It's also good that in episode 3 the present day plot finally begins to thicken a bit. So the Pykes are the apparent enemy. But I still feel the Pykes are not acting alone and that an organization like Crimson Dawn could be behind it all. I hope the flashbacks are mostly done now, the only thing that needs addressing is why and how Boba saved Fennec from certain death. What is she to him? Unless Boba's hobby at the time was roaming the desert, looking for stranded people and helping them out of the kindness of his heart. Which wouldn't totally surprise me given Boba's personality in the series.

But let's address the Rancor in the room, I mean pit. WHAT THE HELL???????

There are two options: 1) Hasbro did not know about the Rancor in The Book of Boba Fett and thus not only gave their HasLab the worst timing ever, but also didn't include any reference at all to the series, with, you know, a saddle, Danny Trejo as keeper, some other Boba Fett figures.... in addition to the few essential ROTJ figures a Rancor needs 2) Hasbro DID know about the Rancor and they still felt that launching the HasLab as a ROTJ only version without any Book of Boba Fett accessories or figures way before the series premieres, creating all new interest in the beast (and you can bet that there will be a scene with Boba riding the Rancor into some kind of battle), would be a good idea.

Both options are just plain stupid. IF Lucasfilm failed to inform Hasbro (not the first time they would keep something secret from Hasbro) then I would expect VERY angry phone calls today. If Lucasfilm actually didn't tell Hasbro about the Rancor, I, as Hasbro, would ask myself if it's maybe better not to keep the license or that the only way to go forward is to insist that Lucasfilm never ever keeps secrets from their main licensor and major source of Star Wars royalties again. If however Hasbro knew about the Rancor and decided to launch the campaign like that, on the date that it did, then the new Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks should fire everyone on the Star Wars team responsible for that disaster. There simply is no excuse at all. If Hasbro knew and still went ahead way before the series premiere then anyone who is involed with that decision needs to get fired. But we don't know. All we know is that The Book of Boba Fett has a Rancor in it and that Boba Fett will almost certainly ride the beast in a future episode. I find it difficult to believe Hasbro would be so colossaly stupid as to not wait for their Rancor HasLab to launch until after The Book of Boba Fett ends, i.e. in February, and making it a ROTJ and BOBF version. IF they knew about about the Rancor.

But enough about toys, the episode itself was decent, better for me than the previous two entries, but the choice of Rodriguez as a director turns out to be a bad one, the man has serious issues with staging big action sequences that don't look and feel weird or off. Other than that the episode was enjoyable, fun even and it was not bogged down by long winded segments about gaffi sticks.

Added: January 12, 2022
Category: The Book of Boba Fett
Reviewer: Thomas
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